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Construction and Engineering

Overview: Construction and engineering

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Construction and civil engineering projects account, on average 6.5% of GDP for a Commonwealth country. The sector has the most economic significance in the Commonwealth Caribbean where it contributes, on average, 9% of GDP. The sector contributes  7% of GDP in Canada and an equal average of 6% each of the four continental regions of the Commonwealth: Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.

In developed and emerging member states sector performance is cyclical, in response to trends in the local economy. This implies that construction is vulnerable to national economic woes and global economic contagion. The industry dipped significantly in 2009 in the midst of the credit crunch in the UK, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada. The sector has to some extent, recovered in some of the countries.

For many developing countries foreign direct investment (FDI) is a major driver for the industry. Successful growth in the Caribbean construction sector has been fuelled by FDI, largely a result of demand for holiday accommodation and ultimately tourism from North America and the UK. Commonwealth member state Zambia’s construction sector has the highest contribution to the economy of any country in the Commonwealth at 20% of GDP (2010). The country has seen a hive of activity in infrastructural projects including roads, commercial buildings, mine installations and peripheral projects, and hydropower stations. Evidently Zambia is viewed by international investors as an attractive investment destination. Foreign direct investment hit a record $2.4 billion in the first half of 2010 with a significant portion coming from China. Most of this investment went into infrastructural projects in energy and mining.

The Commonwealth Engineers Council (CEC) is the key Commonwealth organisation working in this sector. The CEC links professional engineering institutions of the Commonwealth to foster cooperation and exchange of information, support the development of local engineering institutions, and promote the education, training and professional development of engineers.


All data is from 2010.

Select a Country:
Antigua and Barbuda Australia The Bahamas
Bangladesh Barbados Belize
Botswana Brunei Darussalam Cameroon
Canada Cyprus Dominica
Fiji Ghana Grenada
Guyana India Jamaica
Kenya Lesotho Malawi
Malaysia Malta Mauritius
Mozambique Namibia New Zealand
Nigeria Pakistan Papua New Guinea
Rwanda Saint Lucia Seychelles
Sierra Leone Singapore Solomon Islands
South Africa Sri Lanka St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and The Grenadines Swaziland Trinidad and Tobago
Uganda United Kingdom United Republic of Tanzania
Vanuatu Zambia